Charleston has been ranked once again by Travel + Leisure readers as the number one U.S. city for the seventh year in a row. Charleston also ranked 12th on the magazine’s list of 15 best cities in the world, one of just two U.S. cities to make the “World’s Best” award list. Charleston ranked at 10th last year, and number one in 2016 on the world rankings list.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jacqui Gifford said of Charleston’s showing, “it’s been exciting to watch the evolution of this uniquely American city, beloved by our readers for its welcoming spirit, nourishing, inventive food, and world-class cultural events.”
Charleston Described as Having “Southern Charm at its Best.”
Comments from readers included one describing Charleston as “Southern charm at its best,” while another reader said Rainbow Row is “an absolute Instagram dream.” The magazine commented that readers are drawn to “its magic” and the “alchemy of old and new, genteel and unpretentious, city glamour and nature at your fingertips.”
The rankings were collected during the period from November to March through an online reader survey. Each city ranked received a score based on those responses. Charleston earned a score of 87.04, less than one point ahead of No. 2 ranked Santa Fe and about 7 points above Washington D.C. (No. 15).
Southern cities faired well in the latest rankings of best U.S. cities, including New Orleans (No. 3), Savannah (No. 4), Nashville (No. 7), Asheville (No. 8), and Williamsburg, Va. (No. 13).
Positive Rankings Continue to Give the Tourism Industry a Big Boost
The positive reviews from various sources continue to give the tourism industry a big boost in Charleston. Charleston also ranked No. 1 in Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards for the last 8 years in a row and was named as No. 1 of the “South’s Best Cities,” in 2019 by Southern Living Magazine.
The tourism industry is one of Charleston’s main economic drivers, and brought $8.13 billion to the region in the last year, according to the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis. The number of visitors continues to grow, rising about 6 percent a year from the previous year with 7.3 million tourist visits to Charleston in 2018.
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